Finger on the Trigger

“Go figure
You were the trigger
You brought me to an obstructed view
When you knew the picture was bigger”-Jhene Aiko

Being triggered is reliving trauma. It is most certainly something that people who can only accept their own view as the proper and accepted view, and try to trash everyone else’s can easily cause, and in my opinion intend to cause. But being a trigger is dangerous… you shouldn’t put yourself in that position if you aren’t ready to cause a harm. And if whoever you are aiming at recognizes what you are doing, be prepared for that person to shoot. That’s Trigger 101. Fuck around…

The other day, I was minding my own business, debating about a topic …the notion that only a married man can lead/head a household… it was all was respectful and shit until the second coming of Sheherazad Ali chimed in, promoting her unique brand of shotepery (female hotep shit), and then attempted to belittle my opinions and characterize me. I’m cool until you disrespect me. I can debate all day without ever being nasty, but I was reminded that small minded folks don’t have that capability. That’s cool, do you. But don’t try to do me. Fuck around…

She wanted it. Came right out and asked for it. So I gave it to her. Oh, I hear quite well and I also know bullshit when I see it. To assume that your way is the only way, and then to insinuate that anyone who thinks alternatively is not only wrong but worthy of your disrespect is outrageous. So I gave this human the outrage she was asking for. I wasn’t triggered though, she didn’t cause me to relive a trauma. What she did do was try to insult my education. Your unscientific, random conversations, with people you sought out to prove your own anti-Black woman theories because you don’t like your own reality is not on par with my education. I don’t know what credentials you got… but let me slide mine across the table.

Also, be clear,I am smart. I have many plaques and I’m working on more… but be careful with me. Do not mistake these SAT words, wit, and great writing skills… this smart shit is not weak shit. There is more than one kind of trigger my nigga.

Seriously, the incident made me take inventory of who I engage with in social media. First, folks mistake their opinions for facts. Facts are not up for agreement or disagreement. What I do in my home is a fact, it can be proven by observation. It’s not AVAILAbLE for you to agree or disagree with. Second, folks are so one-sided they only subscribe to ideas and thoughts that mimic or match what they think or believe already, like opposing views are so detrimental to their beliefs they don’t even want to hear or consider them. That means your beliefs aren’t very securely held… that doesn’t make the opposing view wrong. Third, when people jump bad they wanna claim you are overreacting or being “triggered” when you react. No I’m pe. You should either assess who you are playing with or just assume they are a rabid dog looking to bite. What you should not do is be disrespectful… ever.

Instead of triggering me, what it did was highlight even more for me what values I hold dear. There a few things that I’m so passionate about that I will not agree to disagree… and that is primarily anything that centers White, heterosexual, Christian, maleness and disregards the very real experiences of others. Miss me with patriarchial, racist, sexist, anti-cultural, White fragility and supremacy, anti-educated Black women tropes. Things that value tradition, tend to devalue difference, and as such I’m very non-traditional. I’m also pro-Black woman, so propaganda that equates Black women’s education, independence, and high standards as “bondage” is dangerous and oppressive to me.

It is very nearly impossible to become an educated person in a country so distrustful of the independent mind.

James Baldwin

How can you claim to be educating folks when you don’t even value the very thing that open and honest education breeds… independence. Get outta here with that nonsense.

I’m not about to buy into is this hotep adjacent theory that educated Black women are aligned with patriarchy and colonialism by virtue of being educated. Any Black person with any understanding of this countries history is aware of the limitations purposely inherent in the education of Black people. We have to be especially careful and aware of what we are being fed because much of it could be poisonous. But that is inherently a factor highly educated Black people have to constantly consider. An uneducated person wouldn’t know that.

But any person, let alone any Black woman who believes that Black women’s independence is akin to slavery is dangerous. Any woman that believes the only way for a woman to have a valuable life is to be married is dangerous. The Bible states that a man who finds a wife finds a good thing… she’s a good thing already. It is important to me that Black women understand their inherent value, and don’t simply attach their value to carrying someone else’s last name. You can want to be married and be a fan of marriage without also believing you are trash alone.

Furthermore, tradition in America centers Whiteness and maleness… period. Messaging that only men, only married people (an institution that you can believe in, while still understanding it’s tradition in America places men in superior roles over women, heightens men’s social value, and protects White wealth), only White people, and only anything that excludes marginalized people is a source of deep trauma, particularly for Black women. We experience so many intersectional -isms, that those of us who are conscious about things that seek to oppress us, are unmoving in our beliefs against that tradition. That doesn’t mean we don’t value White people, married people, or men. Many of are or have been married to men, some of then White. But we reject the notion that only structures those people build are acceptable and proper. That is simply not true.

People want so badly to have their lives and beliefs justified… that they close off and try to censor any message that looks different. That’s not being smart, that… that is being triggered. That is reliving trauma. Read that again. Someone told you your opinion didn’t matter, your choices were bad, you picked the wrong fork in the road, and you believed it so much that you are force feeding yourself acceptance and assurance to the point of arrogance. You think being solid in your beliefs looks like being unaccepting of other’s. Anyone who comes along with a different point of view is gonna get your rebuttable or maybe even your disrespect. A rebuttable usually just gets a response. Disrespect though… fuck around and find out.

I encourage people to stand up for what they believe in, remain open to other points of view, and know what words mean before they go using them all willy nilly. It might be your view that is obstructed…

Be Culturally Appropriate

Sooooooooooooooooo… we are gonna have a great Christmas free of foolishness. But before we do, there was this.

And I have opinions.

What in all the Dorothy, Diahann, Diana, and Eartha is this fuckery. She is darker than me, and both my parents are Afros and Black Panther Party Black. This is a public service announcement to White Women everywhere, in the Americas and beyond…

NOPE!

You cannot have my beauty without my ashes.
You cannot have my pleasure without my pain.
You cannot have my hip without my hop.
You cannot have my rhythm without my blues.
You cannot have my triumph without my testimony.

There is so much to say. This is rooted in oppression… it’s rooted in disrespect and dismissal of all that we are.

I (the universal Black woman) have been told that you are the epitome of aesthetic beauty. Thin features, thin body, long straight hair, light skin, light colored eyes. So much so that your beauty idols were used to portray our historical idols. Cleopatra.

We were only considered beautiful if we resembled you in some way… despite your attempts to look like us.

Tans. Melanin.
Lip plumpers. Full lips.
Teased hair. Crowns of curls.
Corsets. Natural curves.

Yet, our heads filled with the message that we paled in comparison. So we cut our Jackson Five nostrils in half. Starved our curvy bodies slim. Straightened our locks. Lightened anything we could. Our blond hair a choice perhaps because we like it or maybe to look more like you. And even if it’s in some attempt to look more like you, it’s not in mimicry but in a traumatic search for aesthetic acceptance. That pain is deeper than any you will ever understand. But trust, it’s not in an effort to appropriate your culture. My blond hair is not in absence of understanding that lil Timmy calling you a bitch in Target is heinous or Weinstein using his power over your success to bed you simply because you are female is rapey bullshit. We’d gladly volunteer to beat either of their asses for you. But trust anything we might do to model you is in complete presence of our own trauma.

You want no part of our trauma… to understand it, consider it, or better yet to stand in protest of it. But you want to steal our image as your own. An image we fought to find and recognize beauty and power in. You can’t borrow it. It’s not for sale. Your boxer braids are cornrows. Africa… not Bo Derek. Your mini buns are Bantu knots. Bantu tribe … not Khloe Kardashian. Your hair clips are Bobby pins. Doobie wraps not whatever the fuck you call it. Your white Cleopatra is an African Queen. Egyptian… not Elizabeth Taylor, Claudette Colbert, or Vivian Leigh.

So stop it. Tell your friends. It’s not honorable… it’s disrespectful. Fenty 340 is not your color.., so don’t come outta makeup looking like your parents might be named Tyrone and Mercedes. Kanye, Travis Scott, or whatever Black football or basketball players you have Black children by can’t make it ok.

Be culturally appropriate!

This ends the PSA… be well!

The Black Sheep

In the love and relationships, disrespect and jealousy related offenses are especially heinous in real life. My ability to cut you off and move on are unprecedented AF! This is my story…

I have never been a big fan of too many people… could be because my family was small and I was an only child and only grandchild on my mother’s side of the family. I was estranged from my father, so I got all the attention and love I needed in a very small circle. As a result, I have always kept my circles small. Plus, I don’t eat bad apples, and it’s easier to see a bad apple in a smaller bushel! But every now and then…

For the most part, I have maintained long term friendships and relationships. My good girlfriends are really my sistafriends. I have a boonapolis (Greek for bestie, main thang, number one boo) and day one’s, and we go back like bangs at Disneyworld in July. So too have been my relationships with men. Two of my longest relationships have spanned over almost half of my life. One, I was married to and the other I was off and on with for a decade, now permanently off. Fuck him. Anyway… you get the point. I commit, to a very small group of people. My loyalty runs deep.

But lately, folks have been trying me. I have had to euthanize some friendships and a relationship… fuck him… (oh I said that already lol) and since I know now that adversity usually comes with a big life lesson, I’m gonna share this lesson with you. Perhaps you will avoid it by learning it in the here and now. It’s double-layered.

“Who’s the black sheep, what’s the black sheep? Know not who I am, or when I’m coming, so you sleep. Wasn’t in my realm, or wasn’t in your sphere. Knew not who I was but listen here…”

1. People ain’t you!

People show you who they are. We each have a story, and while we are so busy sharing ours we forget to listen to the other person’s. I know if you listen to mine, that you will hear that: I can be centered on self; I am not overtly friendly or extroverted in spaces I have never been; I am selectively sensitive; I talk a lot of shit; I don’t tolerate ignorance or disloyalty; and I’m a fighter for me and mine. Those things aren’t inherently negative, but they might not fit in your world. You won’t know if you don’t listen.

My actions and temperament, ability to forgive, attitude, disposition, values, and traditions are all a function of where I come from, not in the geographical sense but emotionally and relationally. (Well maybe geographically too… I’m from Detroit. We different.) Who influenced me, and what was that influence. Did people mistreat me, and how did I recover from that? But that’s just ME! Other folks are not me. They don’t share my story. They come from a distinctly different set of emotional and relational truths. You won’t know who they are if you don’t listen. But be clear, they are not you!

2. No one owes you SHIT!

You don’t have to be bothered with people who malign your character, are disloyal, disrespectful, hateful, haters, or otherwise just bad for your personal business. That choice is yours. But no one is indebted to you in kindness or compassion, in fairness or loyalty, in friendship or loveship. People get to choose how fucked up or on the up and up they want to be. Their judgement day will come, but no matter what you think you can do about it… nothing you can do can change who they choose to be. Nothing!

Lemme say that again…

No one owes you kindness.

No one owes you compassion.

No one owes you fairness.

No one owes you loyalty.

No one owes you shit.

Trust that people are going to be who they are… that’s their own story! You decide how long , how far, and how much… if at all… you are going to swim in the sea of fucked up, selfish, bitter, resentful, negative, or otherwise unGodly people. That is your story. There is only one you…

the violet in a garden of roses;

the God MC in a group of mumble rappers;

a spelling bee champ amongst those stuck on the first reader;

unique superheroes and mermaids in an imagination dominated by the typical;

a Black Sheep …

“And you can’t beat that with a bat!”